For those worrying about “which” Grant Morrison would be the one writing the new Action Comics #1 (the whacked out one behind Final Crisis and Doom Patrol, or the too-clever-to-be-human one behind All-Star Superman and the 90s JLA relaunch), fear not; it’s the latter. Morrison delivers a younger Clark Kent with a street smart attitude in a tee shirt and Kal-El-vin Klein jeans, but there’s no doubt it’s still Clark. New characters are introduced alongside familiar ones, and new ideas are seamlessly blended with classic ones which makes this a perfect formula for freshening up an iconic character. We know who he is, and we also know he’s not the same one read by our fathers. And grandfathers. And great grandfathers. And the story, very nicely drawn by Rags Morales, is a thrill. A great kick-off to the new DCU.
For all of the renumbered DC comics over the years, this is not only the first Detective Comics #1 in 70+ years, but it’s the first Detective #1 to feature Batman. Purists take note. Tony Daniel delivers what he needs to in such an important first issue, establishing quickly that Batman’s relationship with Gotham PD is not what we had come to know, all while facing a familiar arch-foe who is as crazy as ever. Daniel’s cover is creepy enough, but it’s nothing compared to what’s seen on the final page. And it’s something that happens to The Joker. Hopefully, though, those two tiny points sticking out of the top of Batman’s cowl will sprout into actual Bat-ears at some point.
Dan Jurgens’ and Aaron Lopresti’s new Justice League International has a lot of familiar faces from JM DeMatteis’ and Keith Giffen’s version from 20+ years ago, but none of the over the top comedy that made or plagued the original title, depending on your point of view. After a brief intro assembling the motive and roster for the team, Jurgens get right to the action, and immediately establishes a dynamic between team members in this new DCU, including a somewhat surprising one between Batman and Guy Gardner. There’s no Max Lord, but there’s a different liason assembling the team who would look very familiar if he only had an eyepatch. It’s a nice companion to the main Justice League comic.